>U Mom Knows Best: How to Stay Social When Homeschooling

Friday, September 20, 2019

How to Stay Social When Homeschooling




 One of the main reasons many people shy away from homeschooling their children is that they worry about raising kids that aren’t exposed to the social aspects of traditional schooling. Homeschooling is on the rise and what many parents don’t understand is that there are many different ways that you can socialize children who are homeschooled. Here are a few tips on how to stay social when your children are involved in a homeschooling program.



Socialization Starts at Home

 One major aspect of your child’s socialization is often missed by those who feel like homeschooled children are under-socialized, and this is family socialization. When you are part of a family, you are constantly exposed to others, and often these are the people who teach you how to act appropriately in other social situations. For this reason, at-home socialization with family members might just be the most important socialization that your kids can receive.
Beyond this, there are many ways for your children to meet new people. Let’s take a look at a few great ways to make sure that your children are socialized.

Plan Regular Playdays

 Every week or two, plan a day where you meet up with other homeschool children around the same age as yours. During these playdays, your children can enjoy the same kind of socialization other kids would get at school. Playdays can include one-on-one time with a single friend or lots of fun with a larger group. If you have more than one child that you are homeschooling, try to plan time with each of your children’s friends in this manner.
 If your child is friends with a lot of children that go to public or private schools, you might also want to have evening and weekend play dates so that those friends aren’t left out.

Get Involved in Sports

 Playing sports is a great outlet for energy as well as meeting new people and making friends. Team sports are the perfect opportunity to get involved with a lot of children of the same age. Many schools allow homeschoolers to compete in sports activities. The YMCA also offers many sports programs.
If your kid doesn’t seem interested in team sports, you could also sign up for things like dance or swimming or gymnastics. There will likely be other students in the classes without a team aspect. These types of recreational activities are good for both physical and mental health in children.

Participate in Summer Camps


 Summer camps are a lot of fun for all children. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get your child involved in summer camps. In the spring, start looking at different options and help your child pick a camp that best suits their wants and needs. If you believe that your child is mature enough and can handle it, overnight camps can be a great opportunity for young children to experience time away from family to learn new skills and make new friends. Day camps are also an option for kids that aren’t quite ready to be away from home for so long.
Summer camps can be based around outdoors, sports, arts, and much more. This is why we suggest that you sit down with your child to choose a camp that suits their interests.

Join Homeschool Specific Clubs

 It is always a good idea to get your child involved with children who are also homeschooled. For this reason, it is a great idea to find clubs that are specifically designed for homeschoolers. You will likely find a lot of different options in your area. For example, there are often health clubs, religious groups, scouts’ clubs, and more that your child could easily get involved in.



Start Volunteering

 It seems like there are always so many organizations in need of volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get some social interaction with people of all backgrounds, which will help your child learn to interact with all different kinds of people. While volunteering, you can also teach your children about helping the community in which you live. You can try to get involved in many different types of volunteering as well. Maybe one year you spend time volunteering for an animal shelter, but the next year you help at a food bank or clean up trash at a local park or lake. Even better, some volunteering activities can help your child get a little exercise.
Volunteering can also look good on college and job applications in the future—especially if you can find opportunities that allow your child to showcase leadership qualities and experience.

Go to Local Music and Art Classes

 Lots of children really enjoy art and music. While you are probably including both art and music in your homeschool lessons, you can use art and music as a good excuse to get your child out of the house to meet new people. If you can’t find any local music or art classes in your area, contact someone who offers music lessons or teaches children how to play instruments. If you can find someone who teaches multiple kids at once, your child will not only be able to find positive interaction with another adult, but they can also work with other kids.
It might take a little more work to introduce your kids to other children as homeschoolers, but it isn’t impossible. You can also make friends in your neighborhood or at church. Find what works best for your family and get out there and socialize!



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